1. Explain how animal domestication started.
  • Identify the regions of early civilizations where animal domestication started and the animals kept there. (Name the early centres of animal domestication and the animals they first kept).
  1. Describe two types of:
  • The earliest cattle.
  • The camel.


  • The animals domesticated by man.
  • The results/benefits of domestication of animals.


  • Animal domestication started about 10,000 years ago in some regions of earliest civilizations like south-west Asia, Greece, Crete, Algeria, Egypt, North Africa, Sahara, the Lake Turkana region and southern Africa.
  • Animal domestication started before crop growing. Development of both crop growing and animal domestication were by chance.
  • Animal domestication was gradual. While hunting and fetching water, man established close ties with, caught, took care of and bred the animals in captivity until they were tamed.
  • Domestic animals like dogs, goats, sheep, cattle and camels were useful in various ways, e.g. provision of food and protection. The dog, which was the first animal to be domesticated, assisted in hunting, driving away dangerous wild animals and herding livestock.


  • Goats may first have been domesticated in south-west Asia and then Africa around 5000BC in areas such as Tell Abu Hureyra, Tepe Ali Kosh and De Luren Khuzestan in south-west Iran, Iraq, Upper Tigris valley, Turkey, southern Jordan, Egypt, Sudan and Libya, after which it spread to other parts of Asia, and to Europe. Various species of the goat developed. Ø Sheep were first domesticated at Zawi Chemi Shanid in Iraq around 9000BC and then in Syria, Egypt, the Sahara region, West Africa and the Indus and Yellow River valleys. It spread to Europe from Turkey in 7000BC. There are various breeds of sheep in the world today.
  • Cattle were first domesticated in south-west Asia around 5800BC in such places as Catal Huyuk in Turkey, Iraq and Iran, from where it spread to Ethiopia and North Africa. They are of two types, i.e. the short horned and the long horned.
  • The camel originated from North America, then it spread to Asia and South America. It was first domesticated in Arabia in 3000BC. It is often referred to as the “ship of the desert” as it was commonly used in arid areas. There are two types of the camel. These are:
  • The one humped, found in the Middle East, Northern China and Africa.
  • The two humped, found in central Asia.


  • Regular food supply e.g. meat and milk.
  • Clothing, beddings and other products from animal skins.
  • Hooves and horns, which were used as containers, communication and musical instruments.
  • Animal bones for making tools, ornaments, needles and weapons.
  • Camels, donkeys and horses enabled man to travel longer distances faster with heavier loads.
  • Increased crop yields as oxen and donkeys were used for ploughing.
  • Animals provided manure for the crop farms.
  • Use of the dog for protection from dangerous animals.
  • Man now led a more settled life as hunting was now limited since the animals he needed for food were at his doorstep.
  • Man now lived in families and villages.
  • Domestication of plants and animals occurred in the Neolithic period, although animal domestication came first.



What is agriculture?

  • Agriculture is cultivation of crops to satisfy human needs.

Identify the factors that made it necessary for human beings to discover agriculture. 

(Explain the factors that led to (facilitated) development of agriculture).

  • (Increased human population, for which the natural environment could not provide adequate food.
  • Climatic changes, which hindered pure reliance on nature for livelihood.
  • Competition for food among and between people and animals.
  • Calamities such as floods and bush fires, which cleared vegetation for wild animals.

Describe the two theories that explain how man discovered crop growing and animal keeping.

  1. The Diffusion theory, which states that crop growing and animal keeping developed in south-west Asia and then spread to the rest of the world.
  2. That which states that agriculture must have developed independently in various parts of the world.

Explain the stages in which crop growing developed. 

(Explain how crop growing started/began.)

Crop growing must have developed in stages as follows:

  • Man may have accidentally selected plants he considered more nutritious and tasted better than or were superior to others.
  • It was discovered that wild crops germinated and grew along river valleys, where water and fertile soil were ample.
  • Crops grew faster as other plants and bushes were cut and weeded out.
  • Farmers made and used tools to clear bush, dig and plant the seed, which was quite involving.
  • The crops had to be harvested and then stored in the homes.
  • Various crops adapted to diverse environmental conditions and gradually spread to other areas.

Identify the early centres of agriculture in the world and the crops domesticated there.

  • In the Fertile Crescent (south-west Asia), which comprises present-day Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and parts of Iran and Syria, wheat and Barley were the first crops grown.
  • In Asia and Africa, particularly the Ganges valley in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Niger, diverse rice varieties were domesticated.
  • In tropical America i.e. Central America, southern America and Mexico, yams and maize were the first crops grown.
  • In Africa, particularly Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Algeria, West Africa and the Nile Valley in Egypt, the Guinea yam and varieties of rice, millet and sorghum were domesticated.

Analyse cultivation of the crops cited in the various centres you’ve mentioned.

(Explain how the crops you cited in the above-mentioned centres came to be cultivated by man.)

  • Wheat grew wildly in different types. It was first harvested as Brittle Wheat: a type that was gradually replaced by „emmer‟ wheat, which then spread from the Mesopotamian plains by 6000BC and reached Egypt by 3000BC and to the Mediterranean region, central Asia, India and southern Europe.
  • Barley was widely grown in Mureybat on the Euphratese in Syria from 700-600BC. It then spread to Ali Kosh in Iran, Jericho in Jordan and Fayum in Egypt. By about 2000BC, cultivation of barley had spread to India and China.
  • Yams may have been the first of the Root and tuber crops to be domesticated. They were grown in South-east Asia by 9000BC. The Brazilians grew a different variety. Africa grew its own variety i.e. the White Guinea yam, which was a wild variety found in the Ivory Coast.
  • Maize was first grown around 5000BC at Tehuacan in Mexico from where it spread to South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. It was introduced by the Portuguese in Africa, where it became a staple food unlike America and Europe where it is largely a fodder crop. Ø Rice originated from Thailand around 3500BC, from where its production spread to India, Europe and Japan. In Asia, Oryza Glaterima rice is widely cultivated. The African variety of rice was grown along the upper Niger around 1500BC, from where it spread to other areas within the region.
  • Bulrush millet was first grown at Hoggat in southern Algeria around 6000BC. By 1500BC, sorghum was grown around the Sudan, the area between the Nile and Lake Chad and other parts of West Africa, Ethiopia and east Africa (from where finger millet originated).



 In Mesopotamia, which today is part of Iraq, food production began around 8000BC having been introduced by settlers from the Iranian plateau. Jarmo in the Kurdish foothills represents the earliest stage of Agriculture. As men went hunting and gathering, the women they left behind may have experimented with wild grasses that grew around their compound until they found out and grew the edible plants, paving the way for organized agriculture.

  1. Identify:
  • The animals domesticated in Mesopotamia.
  • Crops grown in Mesopotamia.

2. Name:

  • Two methods of irrigations used in Mesopotamia.
  • The farm implements that were used in Mesopotamia.

3. Explain the factors that facilitated agriculture in Mesopotamia.

4. Analyse farming activities in Mesopotamia. (Explain how farming activities were carried out in Mesopotamia).


  • Use of water from the Tigris and Euphratese for irrigation. At first, Sumer in southern Mesopotamia was unsuitable for farming as it had very little rain. But the Sumerians skilfully dug canals to channel water from the two rivers to summer, boosted by the Shadoof or Bucket method of irrigation.
  • The rich fertile silt deposited on the lower Tigris and Euphratese river valleys and soils in the region, which were mostly fertile.
  • Good leadership by, among others, Sargon the great and Hamurabi the law giver.
  • Invention and use of farming implements like the ox-drawn plough and the seed-drill in place of digging sticks and stone hoes fastened with sticky earth onto a short wooden handle for tilling the land as well as baked clay sickles, baskets and pots in reaping and storing the harvest.
  • The fact that the region was endowed with indigenous crops and animals like wheat, dates, figs, olives, vines, palms, onions, melons, cucumber, ducks, pigs, gees, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, a variety of vegetables and a variety of grains.
  • Heavy rains in the Zaggiroes mountains, which caused the much needed floods on the Euphratese and Tigris river valleys.
  • Reclamation of more land for agricultural purposes by skilfully draining and directing water through dykes, ditches and canals from swampy land to the dry land, making both cultivable.


  • The Sumerian civilization, which was thriving in Mesopotamia by around 3000BC comprised twelve separate city states. Farming, fishing, crafts making and keeping of livestock were most practised.
  • The city states were surrounded with walls, outside of which were farming fields, on which the urban people depended.
  • Most land was in the form of large estates belonging either to the rulers or to the wealthy classes. The workers were given small plots and seeds, farm implements and livestock in return for labour and surplus produce to the land owners.
  • Wheeled carts were used to transport farm produce to various storage points.
  • Goats and cattle provided milk while sheep supplied wool: Mesopotamia‟s main textile fabric.
  • City-states often fought over water rights.

What were the consequences/RESULTS of early agriculture in Mesopotamia?

  • Invention of writing (Cuneiform) and Arithmetic for better farming management, e.g. accounts on rents paid by Tennant farmers, the size of the herds, etc.
  • Increased food production.
  • Population increase, particularly along river valleys, arising from healthy feeding.
  • Emergence of urban centres like Uruk, Eridu, Nippur, Kish and Babylon.
  • Development and expansion of trade due to surplus agricultural produce.
  • Specialization in crafts, religion and other non-food producing endeavours, as not all could engage in farming.
  • Invention and use of the wheel, which improved transport and pottery.

Development of science and mathematics, particularly in measurement of time, distance and area.

  • Invention and improvement of farming tools such as the plough, which eased and increased agriculture. For example, it reduced the number of people needed to cultivate a large piece of land.
  • Development in astronomy, arising from the need to predict rains, floods and eclipses, which led to the invention of the calendar.
  • Development of law.:
  • Discovery and use of metals to make farm tools, which revolutionized agriculture. Bronze tools were made and used in Mesopotamia as early as 3000BC.

Explain two main factors that facilitated development of law in Mesopotamia.

  • Advances in religious practices. Mesopotamians had many gods, most of who were connected to agriculture, e.g. Ninurta the god of floods.
  • Compilation of cords of law to limit conflict in their civilization, e.g. Hamurabi‟s law.



In Africa, agriculture first spread to Egypt along the Nile valley, where it was practised as early as 700BC.

  1. Identify:
  • The animals domesticated in ancient Egypt.
  • Crops grown in ancient Egypt.
  1. Identify the farm implements that were used in Egypt.
  2. Explain the factors that promoted (facilitated) agriculture in ancient Egypt.
  • The river Nile, which provided the water needed for irrigation and for domestic use.
  • The fertile soil and the warm climate of the Nile Valley.
  • Invention and use of irrigation technique, characterised by Shadoof and Basin methods.
  • Availability of food crops that had already become indigenous to Egypt, e.g. wheat and barley.
  • Availability of many tameable animals in Egypt e.g. goats and sheep.
  • Good and able political leaders, who directed agricultural production, distribution of food and other crafts. The government owned huge granaries and go-downs for storage of grain, animals, cloth and metals for use in times of scarcity.
  • Natural protection of the Nile valley from foreign invasion by the Libyan desert to the west, the Nubian desert and the Nile cataracts to the south and the harbourless coast of the Nile delta on the north.
  • Egypt‟s close proximity to Mesopotamia (the first centre of agricultural development), which encouraged a lot of borrowing.
  • Use of implements like sticks, knives, axes, sickles, wooden and bronze hoes and others of their kind, which eased farming.
  • Farmers had several seasons in a year and, because of irrigation, no longer depended on annual Nile Valley floods.
  • Introduction and adoption of iron technology in Africa by 1000AD, which enabled the

Egyptians to make and use iron tools like ploughs, which made farming more efficient.

Describe farming activities in ancient Egypt.

  • Various crops were grown, such as wheat, barley, fruits, flax, beans, vegetables, cucumbers, onions,, lentils, dates, figs and

The Broadcasting method of planting (scattering seed on land)  was used. Animals were driven over the fields to cover the seed in earth for germination or budding.

  • Shifting cultivation was practised before the human population increased, but more settler cultivation was encouraged as days went by.
  • Various animals were kept such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys,, poultry and bees.
  • The King was regarded as the guardian for food supply for all. some senior government officers were assigned the responsibility of ensuring food security.

Describe the irrigation methods practised in ancient Egypt.

Irrigation technique in ancient Egypt was characterised by Shadoof and Basin methods in addition to construction of dykes to direct water to the farms during drought. A Shadoof is a wooden device consisting of a long pole swinging up and down between two supporting wooden posts. On one end of the pole was hung a heavy weight and a skin bucket at the other. The bucket was pulled down and dipped in water by a person. The weight on the other side would then cause the bucket to rise up to another person above, who would empty the water into the canals, which then directed it to the fields.

Describe two senior government officers that were assigned the responsibility of ensuring food security in ancient Egypt.

  • The Master of Largesse was responsible for all livestock in the country.
  • The head of the exchequer ensured distribution of seeds and livestock when agricultural output was poor.

Explain the impact of early agriculture in Egypt.

  • Improved farming, leading to increased and regular food supply.
  • Rise in population due to healthy feeding.
  • Development of writing, arithmetic and Geometry for keeping records and accounts to manage agricultural resources.
  • Invention of irrigation technique, which made the Nile valley an all-season farming area.
  • Emergence of urban centres along the Nile valley, such as Memphis, Akataten, Thebes and Aswan.
  • Invention of farming implements such as the plough, sickle, etc.
  • Development of Astronomy and other sciences, as a way of predicting floods.
  • Development of religion, for divine protection of the farms.
  • Emergence of a new class of people, constituted by priests and soldiers, which produced scribes and other Egyptian elites.
  • Specialization of some people in non-food producing activities e.g. tool making, crafts and geometry.
  • Increased trading activities due to surplus food production.
  • Permanent settlement by farmers, which improved living standards as settled communities accumulated more property than nomads.


Identify the crops cultivated in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Millet,
  • Sorghum,
  • Eleusine,
  • Semeseme,
  • African rice,
  • Yams,
  • Ensete,
  • Barley,
  • Chick peas,
  • Varieties of fruits,
  • Varieties of vegetables.

Name the animals domesticated in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Cattle,
  • Goats,
  • Sheep

Discuss early farming activities in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • In West Africa, domestic animals and serial agriculture were acquired from the then fertile and green Sahara by 1500BC. African rice, which was first cultivated in the Middle Niger lake region, was among the crops grown. Yams may have been grown earlier than any other crops.
  • In North Africa, Ensete, barley, chick peas and cattle were cultivated and domesticated, particularly in the Lalibea area to the east of Lake Tana in Ethiopia. Other plants were brought to Ethiopia from the middle East across the Red Sea.
  • In east Africa, especially at the Ileret area on the north-eastern shores of lake Turkana, in Kenya, cattle, goats, sheep and camels among others were kept between 3000-1000BC.

Food production was most practised in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.

  • In the Congo basin, food production started late, around 1000BC, probably because the region had low population and plenty of wild food varieties.
  • Some crops cultivated in sub-Saharan Africa spread to the Middle East. For instance, semeseme reached Mesopotamia from the southern fringe of the Sahara before 2350BC. Much of southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania were in the past inhabited by Cushitic herdsmen, who may have had agricultural knowledge. The regions are now inhabited by Nilotic and Bantu speakers.


Name the places associated with early agriculture in Asia.

  • The Yellow River valley, Ø The Middle East,
  • The Indus River valley.

Identify the animals that were domesticated in Asia.

  • Zebu cattle,
  • Water buffaloes,
  • Elephants,
  • Horses,
  • Goats, Ø Sheep, Ø

Assess/analyse early agriculture in Asia.

  • In Asia, intensive irrigation was practised along river valleys in the Indus plain, where food supply was adequate. Cattle keepers from central Asia gradually settled down to farming in India.
  • Garden cultivators of south-east Asia grew rice, which boosted productivity at the Ganges valley.
  • Zebu cattle, water buffaloes, elephants, horses, goats, sheep and pigs were domesticated in the Ganges region.
  • However, because early farmers had not yet mastered weather patterns, they were victims to long periods of drought and floods. Their crop yields were low due to lack of scientific knowledge.

In spite of these and other problems, the positive agricultural outcome in Asia was unhindered.


Identify the crops and animals that were cultivated and domesticated in ancient Europe.

  • Beans,
  • Peas,
  • Lentils,
  • Oats,

Name the farm implements used in Europe as early agriculture developed.

  • Hoes,
  • Digging sticks,
  • Ploughs.

Analyse/Discuss early farming activities in Europe.

  • In Europe, food production started at about the same time as in Egypt.
  • The Mediterranean region favoured extension of initial farming methods from the Middle East, from where early food producers passed into southern Europe.
  • European farmers practised shifting cultivation. In areas near river valleys, irrigation was practised.
  • Hoes and sticks were used, though ploughs were later introduced for tilling land.
  • Beans, peas and lentils were grown in the Neolithic times, but oats and rye were major serial crops in the Iron Age. Keeping of sheep was widespread.


Explain the impact of the discovery of agriculture. 

(What were the results of development of early agriculture?)  Ø Population increase due to healthy feeding.

  • Change of man from hunter-gatherer to food producer. Man no longer relied totally on the environment for his survival
  • Adequate food production, with a surplus for future use.
  • Improved cultivation methods in addition to invention and use of better farm implements like ploughs. More land was put into use through dyking and irrigation. These helped remedy the problem of drought, floods and inadequate rainfall.
  • Development of High Breed seeds and better quality livestock, with more yields.
  • Better settled life, with less migration.
  • Emergence of villages, towns, trading and urban centres.
  • Development of religion, laws, rules and regulations to safeguard their fields, flocks and other aspects of life.
  • More division of labour and specialization in different crafts.
  • Development of scientific and technological knowledge and skills, influenced by agriculture as farmers had to invent and improve farm implements, interpret weather patterns, divide land geometrically, count seasons and record agricultural produce using the calendar.
  • Development of numerous architectural designs to decorate various buildings in towns and other centres of human settlement.
  • Formation of distinct social classes as members of various working groups interacted.
  • Development and provision of formal education, particularly for the upper class of society
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